Sunday, November 30, 2008

Con Season 2009

My sister is getting married in August and that means for the first time in eight years I will not be at Wizard World Chicago.

I won't be crying too much as I'll be in California with the family for the nuptials, but it does mean that I won't be hanging with friends in what has become an annual rite of drinking, bullshitting, and slinging comics. WW-Chicago is just down the road from me and sales the last two years have been very strong. I will definitely miss it.

The plan is too head to San Diego again this year for Comicon and possibly add one more sometime throughout the year. NYC is out, but WW- LA and Philly are options as is HeroesCon and WW- Texas.

I'd love to hear some pros and cons from peeps. Any suggestions?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Peering into darkness - reprise

Language Warning. I get a bit potty mouth in this one.

Back in 2005, I was asked to write a quick essay for the horror blog Dark, But Shining by Newsarama blogger and all-around good guy Kevin Melrose. The piece was to be included in a series of essays by different authors describing what REALLY scares them.

Last year I jetted out to Hollywood and did a round of meet-and-greets with a few movie types and I told this story in one of the meetings. When I finished, the veep in charge of story told me, "Go home and write that one. That's fucking creepy." I've got the bones of the story down, just need to find the time to write it.

I've posted the essay before but I thought I'd dust it off again. So, for your reading pleasure, here's PEERING INTO DARKNESS.


When was the last time you were really scared?

I mean really fucking scared.

Not the quick adrenaline shock that comes when you slam on the brakes and narrowly avoid rear-ending the car in front of you, but that sick-to-your stomach, creeping feeling where you are absolutely certain that something awful and vile is going to happen.

True story –

In the year after college I worked for an apartment management company renting units and dealing with tenants. An older woman, the mother of one of the tenants, came in late one dreary September day and needed to get into her son’s apartment. We hadn’t received a rent payment in almost two months and we were fairly certain the guy had just disappeared and abandoned his apartment. The mother was there to pay the balance, remove some of his belongings, and sublet the apartment.

My boss, Steve, wanted me to go over and unlock the door and stay on site until the woman had finished and lock up behind her.

“Go now, man. You gotta see this guy’s apartment,” Steve said. The mother had to fill out some paperwork and I would have a good ten or fifteen minutes at the guy’s apartment by myself.

The guy – I’ll call him “Max,” as I’ve long since forgotten his real name – lived in a basement studio apartment right across from the laundry room of a small, older building with nine units.

Max was a LARGE guy. By large I mean HUGE – easily 6’6” or 6’7” and a flabby 250 lbs. Max was also a very odd guy. He liked to pace between the parked cars in the small lot behind the building for hours, and had taken to sticking his head out his door and glaring at each tenant as they tried to do their laundry. One tenant was certain Max was holding a hammer as he watched her sort her whites from her colors. Most tenants in the building began frequenting Laundromats.

Max’s studio apartment was the only one in the building located below ground, and it had no windows. None. No source of natural light. So, when I pushed open the door to Apartment A, the room was completely dark except for the light spilling in from the hall. The switch by the door failed to produce light of any kind, but I could make out a standing lamp next to a mattress resting on the floor. I stepped over some scattered magazines or newspapers and turned on the light.

And there I was, standing in a room covered from floor to ceiling in images of bondage, S&M and gruesome torture.

Neat stacks of cheap leather-fetish porn mags were against one wall, each about two and a half feet high. More magazines were scattered across the floor along with hundreds of pages torn from other issues and tossed casually around the room, and in piles so deep you couldn’t tell the color of the carpet.

Scotch-taped to every inch of wall was Max’s original artwork, his twisted creativity on display, where he could really amp up the action from the magazine photos and manipulate and control his sadistic fantasies.

A pencil-and-charcoal drawing of a blindfolded woman lashed across a bed of nails.

A woman nailed to a cross and hung upside down, done in marker.

He’d saved the most graphic of the images for the wall and ceiling above his bed. These were the last images Max would see when he went to sleep and the first thing he’d gaze upon when he woke up.

A crayon drawing of a woman with hundreds of small cuts across her back tied to a rack and suspended above a pit of fire.

Women with spikes through their breasts and with flesh pierced by dozens of hooks.

This isn’t what freaked me out. The explicit stuff didn’t really get to me. It was two other things, really.

One was the hammer lying next to the door, sitting there, waiting for Max to take it in hand to defend against perceived threats outside in the hallway.

The other was the small, child-like handwriting underneath the most prominently displayed and most violent series of pictures.

The writing on each picture read, simply: “SARAH.”

That really fucking got to me.

Sarah was someone’s daughter. Maybe someone’s sister or girlfriend. Someone’s mother, perhaps.

Max had decided that she suited his taste.

He knew exactly with whom he wanted to dance. These weren’t random, sick thoughts on paper. The pictures were simply a blueprint for what he really wanted to do to Sarah. She probably had no idea that Max was watching and plotting. I knew damn well that she had no idea her naked image was plastered on Max’s wall, or she would have run to the cops as fast as she could.

At that point, I could feel Max there in the room with me. His presence filled the small space. A door closed loudly somewhere upstairs and I got the fuck out of there, barely remembering to lock up behind me.

I ran into Max’s mother coming down the stairs and had to descend to the basement once again to open the door for her. Before going inside she turned, smiled, and said, “I’ll be just a minute. I only need to get some clothes. I don’t like to be in there.” She knew about her son. She understood when I told her I’d wait out in the hall.

As it turned out, Max had been committed to an institution and she was taking him some of his things. I hope he’s still there rotting, frankly, and that Sarah is far away.

The apartment was soon cleaned of the filth and closed up never to be rented again.

As for Sarah, I never did find out who she was exactly. I checked the tenant list for the building and didn’t find a Sarah listed. She’ll never know how close she came to, what I believe, was a monster.

When it comes to movies that really creep me out, it’s not the flicks with demons or monsters or undead stalkers in hockey masks that get to me. It’s always the film where the human mind is the real villain that scares me. Give me a well-done and cliché-free serial killer movie, like The Silence of the Lambs or Seven. I think it’s because of my short time in Max’s apartment, where I peeked into the window of a really dark and twisted psyche. I found that, for myself, the scariest of monsters lives inside the disturbed mind

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lost Squad miniatures announced!

I got caught a bit flat footed here and didn't have anything prepared for the announcement.

Sorry about that as things are crazy here for the moment.

Here's the skinny -- Brian Cottrell from What The?! minatures approached Alan and I about putting out a set of Lost Squad wargaming minatures. We jumped at the chance to see the boys in minature and it seems like a perfect match to me.

Pictured at right are The What The?! Boys.

Here's the announcement from The Minatures Page and over on Tabletop Gaming News .

If you're new to the site (and site traffic has DEFINITELY spiked) have a look around.

Some Lost Squad info:

Here's the Comic Book Resources interview for the Lost Squad launch that I did back in Sept. '05. It features a terrific nine page preview of Issue #1 along with some unlettered artwork from Issue #2.

Reviews are scattered throughout the archives, but here's a Steven Grant quick shot review about LS #4. Scroll down to near the bottom of the page.

You'll find another review here from the fine site.

Thanks to Brian Cottrell and superfan Chris Jachimowicz for the hook up. Hopefully we'll have more news, photos, and updates about the process of creating the minatures.

I'm always grateful to have new eyeballs checking out the book and perusing the site. Feel free to drop me a line at MAILCALL [{at]} lost-squad [{dot}} com.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back from San Diego -- a bit of Alan Robinson news

I'm back from San Diego and have survived the convention.

I'll have a full on con report posted some time this week.

In the meantime, I wanted to share the exciting news about Alan's new project.

He and writer Dara Naraghi are teaming on IDW's Terminator Salvation prequel.

The story takes place about a year before the upcoming Terminator Salvation movie with Christian Bale. Click on over to Newsarama to check out coverage and quick interview with Dara.

It's funny, I've known Dara since he and I both had stories in Digital Webbing Presents #4 and checked his terrific self-published work from Ferret Press. He's a great guy and a terrific writer.

His webcomic collection LIFELIKE is out in hardcover from IDW. You can check out LIFELIKE for free on the web by clicking here or moseying over to the excellent KOMIWERKS website.

I caught up with him a bit this past weekend in San Diego and he didn't mention once that he's the one stealing Alan!

For the record I couldn't be more happy for the both of them.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lost Squad -- In Living Color

Colorist extraordinaire Garry Henderson tossed up some awesome colored pages from issue one of Lost Squad on his DeviantArt page and the Digital Webbing message boards. I just had to share.

DAYUM, if the boys don't look sharp! Garry colored the pages as if the story was taking place in Africa instead of Poland as an experiment. I say these make a fine addition to his portfolio.

Sharp stuff! Garry's done work for Devil's Due and Zenescope. Check out more of his stuff here. If you're a publisher looking for a talented colorist, hire the man already!

Hmmm...Lost Squad versus Rommel's Afrika Corps. Might make a good story.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chicago con report

Wow this is incredibly late.

I've been toiling at the real job and scrambling to get some work done on a few other projects. The good news is that I've knocked out a ton of script pages in July. Bad news is I'm still scrambling and there's little time to post.

Chicago was again a terrific show. I sold a ton of trades and few single issues. The Freakshow horror combo sold better than expected and I didn't have to cart as much home as I usually do.

Feedback on the Lost Squad was terrific. I had a nice (but short) conversation with comics heavyweight Phil Hester who was very complimentary and had some nice advice as well. I will buy him a beer in San Diego if the opportunity presents itself.

I set up next to writer Ivan Brandon and artist Andy McDonald who are both terrific guys, very professional and talented and put up with my repetitive and annoying sales pitch for Lost Squad. NYC MECH is a terrific book and I highly recommend it. I picked up the second trade from them and I can say it's as crisp and sharp as the first.

Chicago is all about hooking up with old friends and this year didn't disappoint. I hung out with artist Kevin Mellon and writer Dennis Hopeless of GEARHEAD fame and the upcoming CUPID from AiT/Planet Lar. A nicer and more talented pair of guys you will not find. They're my homies.

Here's a Flickr picture of Kevin and myself enjoying ourselves in the midst of the insanity that is the Hyatt on Saturday night.

Kevin's entire set of photos is here if you're interested.

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man artist Ryan Stegman is one of the funniest dudes in comics and, along with Ryan's Fiance', artists Erik Jones (who is a riot himself), Ray Dillon and Renae De Liz (two of my favorite people), and Mellon and Hopeless, we all backed up the truck and went for deep dish pizza one night and had a fantastic time.

Ray and Renae witnessed my rant about how much I think the Goonies sucks. They just listened politely and shook their heads. I'm pretty sure they avoided eye contact for the rest of the weekend. We will continue this conversation in San Diego. Bet on that!

Caught up with artist Ryan Bodenheim who has hooked up with the terrific Johnathan Hickman on the new mini-series RED MASS FOR MARS from Image Comics. I picked up #1 at his table and it is fantastic.

Rich Molinelli and his better half/partner-in-crime Sam were in attendance although I didn't even hang with them until Saturday.

Talked about the UNION STATION movie with writer/inker/sharp dresser Ande Parks. I got my hands on the screenplay a while back and thought it was great and I told him so. BTW, I sold my first comic ever, DIGITAL WEBBING PRESENTS #3 (featuring my story DARK SIDE OF THE MOON with artist Juan Moreno), to Ande waaay back in '02, I think (?).

Can't forget Phil Kost, military adviser and all-around good guy. He and I talked about putting the Lost Squad in a different historical setting and had some terrific ideas. Good to see you, Phil!

Saw Michael Kasinger (MEK71 on the DWP boards), Andy Jewett and a ton of others I'm forgetting. I'll update as the memories come back to me.

Can't wait for 2009.

On to San Diego!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Wizard World Chicago recap coming soon, I promise!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wizard World Chicago 2008

WWC kicks off on Thursday.

I'll be set up in artist's alley at table # 5114. I'm all the way back against the wall. Look for the LOST SQUAD stand up.

I've got great table placement again this year. I'm setting up next to such comic heavyweights as Ivan Brandon and Andy McDonald, Mike Norton, Bryan Glass, David Mack, Taki Soma, Mike Oeming, Brian Bendis, the Kansas City comics crew -- Clay Moore, Jeremy Haun, Dennis Hopeless, Kevin Mellon, Jason Hurley, and Jason LaTour.

Devil's Due is setting up at booth 1123 and I'll be signing there at some point this weekend. I'll update as I get that info.

Come on back and say howdy! I'll be the imposter hawking the zombie nazi comics.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sweet nectar of the gods.

I spent Father's Day fishing with the kids which conjurs certain Norman Rockwellian images, but all being said, it was a terrific way to spend the day.

I capped off the evening alone on the couch, flipping channels and enjoying my new found drink obsession -- Avery's MAHARAJA Imperial IPA.

It is the sweet nectar of the gods!

When it comes to beers, I'm a hop-head. I LOVE that flowery smell and this baby delivers. The taste lives up to the initial smell test. It has a bitter, citrusy flavor with a hint of malt. It's much stronger than you're regular IPA. It packs a punch at nearly 10% alcohol and something like 110 IBU's.

A fantastic way to end a terrific Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Teaser image from the new project.

Art by co-creator and digital wunderkind Ryan Scott.

And another.

The first rule of the new project is that you don't talk about the new project.


And, then you'll wanna stick your fist in my mouth 'cause I won't shut up about it.

Blogger hiccup

Seems that Blogger had a bit of a hiccup recently.

They've chewed up and spat out a few postings.

Sorry about that. In the meantime, and for no reason in particular, here's a picture of Mr. T.

The funny thing is, the hat isn't even the most ridiculous thing about this photo.

That is just an INSANE amount of bling. Never mind the weapon, but how does the man get through the metal detectors at airports?

I think it's just one LONG ass gold rope chain he swiped off an anchor aboard a Saudi prince's yacht.

Are those Wonder Woman's bracelets and Mandarin's rings he's wearing? (geekjoke)

More T as the mood strikes me, foo'!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Alan Robinson!

Alan turns 30 today and in his honor I thought I'd toss up a few samples of his latest artwork.

Here's a few pages from Star Wars Legacy #22 from Dark Horse.

This is a cover Alan created for the Chilean comic CALEUCHE.

The pages below are from YONCHI! Written by Richard Meyers, colors by Cristian Gonzales, and appearing in the POPGUN anthology from Image.
If you want to take a gander at more of Alan's artwork, check out his DeviantArt page, Alan's ComicSpace page, or his blog.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALAN! Thanks for everything, my friend. Have a great birthday!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lush Life

Yes, there's been a dearth of blogging in April. Guilty as charged. I've been working and writing and spending a little time in Fargo, ND recently (six inches of snow in late April).
Not much Lost Squad news recently and I'm not ready to let the cat out of the bag on the new stuff I've been writing so I thought I'd post a quick book review.

I'm about half-way through the new Richard Price novel LUSH LIFE and it's fantastic.

If you're not familiar with Richard Price, I'll clue you in: he's the author of CLOCKERS and FREEDOMLAND and writer of such movies as SEA OF LOVE, RANSOM, THE COLOR OF MONEY and a smattering of THE WIRE episodes amongst others. If you dig the crime beats of Lehane and Connelly, you need to go find you some Richard Price. Right. Now.

LUSH LIFE spins a yarn around a tale of murder, a mugging gone wrong on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Told from the perspective of a survivor turned suspect, the homicide detective working the case, and the perps, the book elevates beyond a simple police procedural into social commentary and potrait of an ever-changing urban neighborhood. Some are comparing this book to Tom Wolfe's writing in tone and texture. You'll feel like you're walking the same streets past tenements and upscale watering holes just as the characters do. The prose paints a vivid picture.

And, don't get me started about the dialogue. It crackles. Price is a master. You can have Mamet and Sorkin (both of whom I love), but I'll take Price and have seconds on Sunday.

I'm only half-way through, but already I can't endorse this book enough. Go and read it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

More Lost Squad minatures.

As promised, more Lost Squad minatures from Chris Jachimowicz.

Sgt. Lymangood.

"Bazooka" Jose'.

The Nazi leader Kessler looking particularly evil.

The biker Nazis from issue #1.

Once again, thanks Chris for sharing!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Alan's Newest Gig

Alan is definitely movin' on up!

I got word from him last week that he's been signed on to provide one issue of fill-in artwork on Dark Horse's Star Wars Legacy book. He's slated for issue #22 which is already solicited and set to arrive in your local comic shop on April 8.

Anyone who knows Alan knows that he is a MAJOR Star Wars fan and this is a dream project for him.

Check out his Darth!

We've put our projects on the backburner for now, but for the record, I couldn't be happier for him!

His artwork keeps getting better and his career, in my opinion, is starting to take off. He's got his foot in the door now at Dark Horse and I predict big things from him.

Now, if Dark Horse could just use a writer, on say, their revivals of my old faves EERIE and CREEPY, they could pair the two of us up once again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lost Sqaud Minatures.

Uber-fan Chris Jachimowicz is back with more cool Lost Squad stuff.

This time he's painted and modified some 28mm pewter minatures into our beloved ragtag team of soldiers.

Here's Captain Boudreau.

Here's the email I received from Chris: "I’ve attached several pictures of the Lost Squad figures that I have painted up for 28mm play. They are from Artizan Designs, Bolt Action Miniatures, Brigade Games miniatures and West Wind.

I did a little sculpting, such as glasses on the Corporal, hair on Kessler, and the ribbon on Lymangood’s arm to make them more LS-like. I also added built-in MG-42’s to the front of the motorcycle sidecar and a point to the driver’s helmet. All in all I think they came out rather good!"

Damn! So do I!

Major Smithenry and Corporal Berg

The "Chicago Boys": Tinker, Evers and Chance

Nazi Demon Soldier

You can check Chris's earlier creative efforts here. I'll post the rest soon.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Strike over.

Good to see the strike finally come to an end. From the reading I've done and the people I've talked to I get the impression that they believe that they got as good of a deal as they could get. There are a few quibbles (17 days of residual free streaming before the writer sees a dime?), but that it was good to get everyone back to work.

We're waiting on a second draft of the Lost Squad screenplay. Hopefully once that's turned in Rogue will give it a greenlight.

Still working on the hosting issues. My provider is not forwarding the domain properly and I'm thinking about installing a blogging tool to get around this, although I'd rather just stick with Blogger for now.

I got caught up on some TV and will post some reviews shortly.

More to come.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Switching hosts.

We're switching hosts and having a few issues with forwarding the domain to blogger.

Email has been spotty, but is now back in full effect.

We'll have everything fixed soon and will be backing posting soon.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

*Side note: I've noticed a few Hollywood industry types browsing the site. If you work in the biz and are inclined, drop me a note at mailcall {at} lost-squad [dot] com. I'd love to pick your brain.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008